Owners of Ohio mansion destroyed by fire sue insurer for $60M, say their claims not honoured

CINCINNATI – The owners of a $4 million suburban mansion that burned to the ground last year are suing their insurance company for almost $60 million, saying it didn’t honour their claims.

Court documents show homeowners Jeffrey and Maria Decker sued Chubb National Insurance Co. this month in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuit says the insurer, based in Warren, New Jersey, gave no reasonable justification for not honouring the couple’s insurance claims. It says the insurance company or its agents operated in bad faith, and it seeks more than $14 million for breach of contract and more than $44 million for damages including financial loss of policy payments.

The county auditor’s website had listed the home as being worth more than $4 million.

Chubb doesn’t comment on claims or pending litigation, spokesman Mark Schussel said Wednesday.

The fire at the 10,000-square-foot mansion in the upscale Indian Hill area sent flames shooting more than 30 feet into the air and took several hours to extinguish. It gutted the home, leaving behind only a charred frame. Firefighters said a fire hydrant at the home didn’t provide enough water to put out a blaze of that magnitude.

The January 2014 fire caused significant if not total damage to the 22-room home’s structure, personal property and automobiles, the lawsuit says.

The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined. The Decker family wasn’t home at the time, and no one was injured.